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Updates On Disaster: 5000 People Dead In Nepal From 7.8 Magnitude Earthquake

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NairaWall - April 25, 2015, 10:31 pm - submitted in Viewpoint - 847 view(s)




A magnitude-7.8 earthquake centered less than 50 miles from Kathmandu rocked Nepal with devastating force Saturday, toppling homes, temples and historic buildings and leaving at least 5,000 people dead, authorities said.


Afterward, whole streets and squares in the nation's capital and largest city were covered in rubble. Locals and tourists ferreted through mounds of debris in search of survivors. The injured wound up being treated outside hospitals in chaotic scenes. Residents, terrorized by a seemingly endless series of aftershocks, huddled outdoors for safety.


The death toll was reported by Nepal's Ministry of Home Affairs. But given that the rescue effort is still in its early stages and that people in outlying areas may well have been affected, as well, it seems probable the number will rise.

An estimated 4.6 million people in the region were exposed to tremors from the Nepal earthquake, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said via Twitter. In Nepal, 30 out of 75 districts were affected by the quake.

In neighboring Tibet, roads buckled, buildings collapsed and at least 12 people were killed, China's state media reported, citing local authorities.

Separately, at least four Chinese citizens in Nepal -- two workers with a Chinese company, a tourist and a mountaineer -- have been killed, state media reported, citing the Chinese Embassy in Kathmandu.

Officials in India confirmed at least 34 deaths in three states from Nepal quake.

The quake struck Saturday at 11:56 a.m. local time (2:11 a.m. ET), occurred at a depth of 9.3 miles, which is considered shallow and more damaging than a deeper quake. It was reported by people in the area as having lasted a long time. One person said he felt as if he were on a ship in rough seas.

Kathmandu, which sits in a valley surrounded by the Himalayas, has a population of about 1 million.

Thomas Nybo, a freelance photographer, was sitting in a coffee shop in Kathmandu's Temal district when the massive temblor struck. It appeared to be a minor tremor at first but gradually gained intensity, he told CNN. Thousands poured onto the streets of Temal, a densely populated tourist hub.

"This region is no stranger to earthquakes," he said. "A lot of people had the same feeling: This is a tremor, it passed. When that wasn't the case, they were in uncharted territory... It's basically an unwritten book."

Outside the coffee shop in Temal, Nybo said he saw a group of women gather near what had been a six-story building. One woman said children were trapped beneath rubble.

"We ran over and ran around the rubble and couldn't hear anything," he said. "There was no chance that they survived."

Nearby, another building had come down on an area where locals went to do laundry and collect water, Nybo said. A voice was heard coming from the rubble.

"A group of mainly tourists started gathering rocks, hammers and pickaxes and breaking through a re-enforced concrete wall to reach this guy... It took about two hours of smashing through wall and cutting rebar with a hacksaw to pull him out alive."

Two bodies were found near the spot where the man was rescued, Nybo said. Not far away, the bodies of three or four women were uncovered.

"Who knows how many other bodies lie beneath the rubble?" he said.

Nybo said soldiers did not appear on the streets until about two hours after the quake.

"It's really hard to get a sense of any kind of emergency response," he said.

The streets of Kathmandu were packed with thousands of locals and tourists who refuse to go back to their homes or hotels because of recurring aftershocks.

Rob Stiles and his wife had just checked into a hotel in Kathmandu when the earthquake struck.

"It felt like it went on forever," the California resident said.

Outside, people were running onto the street, with the temblor knocking some off their feet. A huge section of a brick wall crushed motorcycles and a car, he said.




source: CNN